Tuesday, 21 July 2009

RIM Enables Etisalat Update Removal

Image representing Research In Motion as depic...Image via CrunchBase

"Recently an update may have been provided to you by Etisalat for your BlackBerry Handheld via a WAP push. The Etisalat update is not a RIM-authorized update and was not developed by RIM. Independent sources have concluded that the Etisalat update is not designed to improve performance of your BlackBerry Handheld, but rather to send received messages back to a central server. RIM has developed this software (“Software”) that will enable you to remove the Etisalat update."

Not my words, but the official words of the company that makes and enables BlackBerry handheld devices , RIM, on its own forum.

Particularly chilling are these words: "Independent sources have concluded that the Etisalat update is not designed to improve performance of your BlackBerry Handheld, but rather to send received messages back to a central server."

This directly contradicts the words of telco Etisalat, which made a formal statement to media last week, "These upgrades were required for service enhancements particularly for issues identified related to the handover between 2G to 3G network coverage areas."

But RIM goes a lot, lot further in its formal statement on the whole affair. In fact, the company says:

"RIM confirms that this software is not a patch and it is not a RIM authorized upgrade. RIM did not develop this software application and RIM was not involved in any way in the testing, promotion or distribution of this software application.

RIM further confirms, in general terms, that a third party patch cannot provide any enhancements to network services as there is no capability for third parties to develop or modify the low level radio communications protocols that would be involved in making such improvements to the communications between a BlackBerry smartphone and a carrier’s network.

In addition, RIM is not aware of any technical network concerns with the performance of BlackBerry smartphones on Etisalat’s network in the UAE."

So someone's been telling porkie pies, haven't they?

The link to BlackBerry's site is HERE and if you have a BlackBerry and implemented the update, you'll be relieved to know it contains a removal tool provided by RIM for its customers to use in getting rid of the performance-sapping software.

RIM has done the right thing - in contrast to security company SS8, the organisation presumed to have actually coded the software behind this awful little mess and which has maintained a total silence in the face of media requests. Similarly, etisalat's reaction (ignore it all and hope it goes away) has hardly been customer focused - people are still helping each other with 'broken' BlackBerries and Twitter is still ringing with plaintive Tweets for help from grounded BB users.

Do get the word out to friends and family that an 'official' fix is now available to roll back the update and, belatedly, ameliorate the impact on users of this muckle-headed catastrophe.

Etisalat still has 145,000 people to answer to, BTW... And, one rather suspects, a media that will be baying for its blood...

Link to the RIM statement, hosted on the Chirashi Security blog, HERE. Enjoy!

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9 comments:

Zain said...

What are the odds that RIM is in cahoots with Etisalat? Maybe this is a second try to get people to install the SS8 interceptor code on their phones.
It behooves everyone to closely analyze stuff before installing it on their Crackberrys.

AyMoNy said...

Site to be blocked in 5.. 4.. 3..

Seriously though, this issue is getting bigger and bigger everyday. Etisalat MUST act smart right now before all is lost.

alexander... said...

Zain - the RIM statement actually takes care to warn subscribers AGAINST accepting a subsequent message from the operator offering a removal fix!!!

Do take a read - it's linked in the original post - the statement is little short of excoriating and will be driving tomorrow's papers or you can call me Margaret...

Anonymous said...

I have a possibly stupid concern. I downloaded and installed the patch like an idiot and suffered for a day at the hands of Etisalat. Battery drained out completely, phone wasn't charging yada yada yada. I figured only way to fix this is format the whole thing and upgrade the OS deleting all third party applications. So I did. And my phone has been fine since then - I'm judging this on the battery actually lasting. But my (stupid) question is how do I know that I've actually got rid of the patch and that it is definitely wiped out of my system? Is there some way I can completely confirm this for nothing but my peace of mind?

Seabee said...

"...one rather suspects, a media that will be baying for its blood..."
plus an open public enquiry followed by a full explanation of the event, a grovelling apology, responsible heads falling.

Sorry, I'm travel-fatigued and dreaming still. They will of course treat us with the usual contempt and simply ignore it until we've all 'moved on' to something else.

yazz said...

Anonymous,

You can check that you do not have the software by going to:
Options>Advanced Options>Applications press Blackberry button, choose Modules and type regist... you will be filtering all installed modules in order to see if registration is still there.

Kawthar said...

From BBC

Etisalat told BBC News that it stands by last week's statement and has not yet responded to further requests for comment.

Anonymous said...

Yazz! Thank you so much. Turns out I don't have it anymore thankfully.

George Bevir said...

Zain - further to Alexander's reply, this morning I asked Nigel Gourlay (one of the first to look at Etisalat's "performance patch" and declare it suspect)to have a look at RIM's download and he gave it the thumbs up.

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